University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Why are Zach and Courtney Hot Glueing Worry Dolls?

By: Amy Ellsworth

I walked into the Exhibits office today and saw bags and bags of what looked like little firecrackers. They always seems to have odd bulk shipments back there (fake hair, desiccated fruits, papier-mâché mummy parts), so I didn’t even question what they were doing with them. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were worry dolls, […]

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Free Hip Hop Concert Tonight! [audio]

By: Amy Ellsworth

Back in January 2012, local hip hop artists visited the African, Egyptian, and Imagine Africa galleries at the Penn Museum to draw musical (and lyrical) inspiration from the African art and artifacts. The artists, selected by local hip hop radio DJ, Zachariah Hardin aka T.H.E., include godHead The General, Magnum O, Darian The Great, KNomadz, […]

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Behind the Scenes of MAYA 2012: TIMELINE!

By: Gabrielle Niu

4000 years of Maya history in 25 feet? SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT with your host Kevin Schott: Read more about MAYA 2012: Lords of Time opening May 5!

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Behind the Scenes of MAYA 2012 – The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan

By: Gabrielle Niu

The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan is an eight foot-wide, canvas, narrative-oriented “map” that tells the story of the 16th-century conquest of Maya land by the Quauhquechollan and Spanish conquistadores. A replica of the Lienzo is a highlight of the MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibit — see the video below to get a sneak peek of […]

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Penn Museum in Asia

By: Ardeth Abrams

Penn Museum has done archaeological research in Southeast Asia for the past 45 years. I have been lucky to work as an archaeological illustrator for one of the Penn projects, the Ban Chiang Project, since I was a grad student in the Penn Fine Arts School in 1990. Over the years I took on web […]

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Dead Men of Duffy’s Cut

By: Amy Ellsworth

More than 175 years ago, a ditch in Chester County became a mass grave for 57 Irish immigrant railroad workers, thought to have died of cholera. Now, a team that includes a Penn scholar and student is digging deeper into the lives – and deaths – of these laborers. Dr. Janet Monge, curator of physical […]

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“Get Your Fiber On!”

By: Fran Baas

Last Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter proclaimed March “Fiber Art Month” during the opening ceremony of FiberPhiladelphia 2012!  In honor of that proclamation, I wanted to post a few photographs of some inspiring ancient Peruvian textiles I’ve seen during my IMLS-funded condition assessment survey. With simple tools, every process of textile manufacture was by hand. The thoughtful […]

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Ancient Yo Mama Jokes on the Colbert Report

By: Amy Ellsworth

Last Friday, my Facebook feed was flooded with comments about our cuneiform tablet that made it onto the Colbert Report in a spot about ancient yo mama jokes. Our tablet fragment, featured in the original scholarly article in Iraq, originates from Sippar (modern-day Abu Habbah, Iraq just southwest of Baghdad) during the Old Babylonian Period (1900-1600 […]

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Retro Mashup International

By: Kate Pourshariati

Live from the Archives! Film series is announced, with its inaugural screening on March 15th, 2012.

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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